Honoring Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyleby Representative Sam Johnson
Posted on 2013-02-13
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I solemnly stand today to
honor and pay respect to a true American patriot, a devoted father, and
a loving husband, Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. Sadly, on February 2,
2013, Chris and close friend Chad Littlefield were tragically killed on
a remote ranch in Texas while attempting to help a troubled veteran who
was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Chris leaves behind
his lovely wife Taya, and their two children.
Born on April 8, 1974 in Odessa, Texas, Chris began shooting and hunting with his father when he was eight years old. After an accident ended a short-lived career as a professional bronco rider, Chris was moved from within to satisfy his life-long desire to serve his country and join the military. Chris enlisted in the United States Navy, and ultimately worked his way to becoming a member of the United States Navy's Sea, Air, Land Teams, also known as the U.S. Navy Seals, one of our nation's most elite group of special forces units.
From 1999 to 2009, Chris served four tours in Iraq as a member of SEAL Team 3 where he was involved in every major battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Throughout his time in Iraq, Chris' courage and heroism in battle earned him the title and honor of the most elite sniper in U.S. history.
Feared for his deadly accuracy, Chris was nicknamed The Devil of Ramadi by insurgents, and recorded a record 150 confirmed kills--one of which was a 2,100-yard strike, 1.2 miles away. More importantly however, Chris is most remembered for his selfless and unwavering ability to protect American troops while perched on rooftops. In fact, despite being shot twice and directly involved in multiple IED explosions during his tours, Chris always made doing his job and his fellow teammates his top priority. For his bravery, Chris was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.
In 2009, Chris retired from his military career in order to dedicate more time to his wife and family. Shortly after, he released his New York Times bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, which shares his battle experiences and sheds light on the true sacrifices that service members and their families endure. Unprepared for the books immediate success, Chris ultimately donated proceeds from the book to the families of fallen service members. For those that knew Chris personally, this was nothing out of the ordinary.
Chris was not just an exemplary soldier; he was a successful businessman, a trusted friend and team member, and a devoted husband, father, and son. He lived by the professional motto, ``It is our duty to serve those who serve us.'' This principle became the driving force behind his decision to found Craft International, a military and law enforcement training and security company, as well as help create Fitco Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder and adjust to civilian.
As a former veteran myself, I truly understand the sacrifices Chris and his family made for our great country. Chris' devotion to a higher calling and his commitment to God, Country, and Family should serve as a constant reminder that freedom isn't free. We all owe a debt to men and women like Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle.
Mr. Speaker, I would ask that my colleagues join me in honoring Officer Chris Kyle, a true American hero and a man of great principle. I extend my deepest condolences to Chris' family, and my thoughts and prayers are with them as they move forward in Chris' honor.